Indentured from Birth

bonded labor

The 10-year-old child struggles with the load of clay he is to turn into bricks. All day. He dreams of school, of a better life. But if he doesn’t make bricks, he doesn’t eat. His parents could find no other work, and they took out loans to survive. Loans they now cannot repay, and probably never will. When they die, their children will inherit the unrepayable debt.

They will never play like other kids, never go to school, never read and write. And they will likely make bricks for their wealthy owner until they die.

Many landowners, brick kiln operators, carpet makers, and others in Pakistan, India, and elsewhere rely on this modern-day slavery known as bonded labor. Millions live in bondage, because they’re paid so little, to make the products affordable and the owners wealthy. This has gone on for generations and will likely continue under governments and populaces that accept injustice and enjoy the benefits.

The indentured laborers are largely forgotten by the world. But I doubt they’re forgotten by God. Even though there are probably few Christians among them, God’s Word says he looks upon the poor. And he makes no distinctions.

How does God feel about that 10-year-old boy? And the millions like him. Does God grieve? Get angry? Or does God feel with the child, there among the oppressed of the world, identifying with them.

How does God’s heart work out the differences between our kids who have food, shelter, education, and endless entertainment given to them and these kids who are condemned to virtual slavery from birth?

If I can’t do much about it directly, and I doubt I can, at least I must ask and come to an adequate answer to how I will live in light of all this.

Is it possible to have a heart that embraces the world? Would that heart stretch, or would it burst?

How would I be changed? Do I dare even ask for that?

I must.